Kyabram Free Press

Fauna Park reptile keeper is ready to scale new heights

By Holly Tregenza

KY FAUNA Park’s latest recruit reckons reptiles get a bad rap, and is here to help you appreciate snakes, lizards and crocs like you never have before.

Ben Stubbs is the newest face to call the park home and will look after the many reptiles in its care.

“I’ve had a passion for snakes since I was young and got my first pet reptile when I was about 12,” he said.

“I’m particularly interested in venomous snakes because they are smart and inquisitive, quite the opposite of the bad reputation they’ve had throughout history.”

Ben comes to Ky with a stellar resume, having previously worked at Halls Gap Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Black Snake Productions. He completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bio Science at LaTrobe University and has previously run his own snake-catching business.

“I’m really excited to start at Kyabram Fauna Park and have the opportunity to educate visitors about how incredible reptiles are,” Ben said.

“I’m hoping to keep building the park’s reptile collection and create more opportunities for visitors to learn about our amazing wildlife and how they can help protect it.

“I was attracted to the job at Kyabram because it fits really well with my skill set and also offered the opportunity to work with general manager Lachlan Gordon, who has a great reputation in the zoological field,” he said.

Lachlan was recently named the Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping Conservationist of the Year.

He said he was pleased to welcome Ben into the role of reptile keeper.

“We are thrilled to attract somebody of Ben’s skills and experience, which will really add another element to what the park can offer to our visitors,’’ he said.

“I’m excited to work with Ben and take our reptile and amphibian collection to new heights.’’

The park has recently added a daily reptile interaction to its schedule, which offers visitors the chance to hear from a keeper and get up close to some different creatures.

“Ben’s passion for these animals is evident and will help inform our visitors about the importance of these creatures to our biodiversity and why we should all be working to protect them and their habitat,” Lachlan said.

And he’s not the only new addition at the park, which has recently welcomed a tawny frogmouth and a trio of squirrel gliders.